The Power and Vulnerability of Leading Self

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.” Brené Brown
When we think of leadership, and leadership development, how often do we think about power and strength, rather than vulnerability? Power and strength are seen as assets and vulnerability as a liability. But is that really the case? Are we missing out on transformational and powerful leadership by not addressing, and exploring our vulnerability as leaders?

Traditionally leadership development focuses on how to lead others, but how can we do something for others, if we can’t even do it for ourselves first?

Transformational Leadership is more than ‘practice what you preach’ or modeling behaviors, it is about being a leader that others want to follow. We do this by embodying strength through our willingness to explore vulnerability as part of personal and leadership development.

Leading is a verb, an action. We are truly a leader when others choose to follow us, not because of a title, giving direction, or that they are direct reports. The first step in exploring our vulnerability as leaders is recognizing how much is out of our control. This includes the reality that team members choose whether or not to follow. In accepting that and embracing what we can control – Leading Self – we demonstrate the ‘courage to show up.’

It is easy to pick up lists of “do’s and don’ts” for managing others. It is much more powerful to consider one’s emotional intelligence, areas where one relies too heavily on strengths or avoids places of potential growth. This exploration is crucial to Leading Self, and where openness to vulnerability provides potential for strengthening our leadership capacities. In Leading Self, we are liberated and empowered.

Leading Self is also the first-step in the creation of an Accountability Culture in an organization. In such an environment, teams are also liberated and empowered. We can’t give them something we don’t have – we have to Lead Self before we can lead others.

As leaders, our courage to Lead Self by exploring, and growing from our vulnerability, is one of the greatest strengths we can offer our teams, our organizations, and ourselves.

The Powerful Being


I think most of us have heard the statement “Our Thoughts are Energy” before. For me, this rings more true now than ever before. Several years ago, it occurred to me that if this was in fact the case, we could manifest anything we wanted by changing our thoughts. This was the beginning of my journey to developing our New World Leadership: Spiritually Aligned Leadership programming.

What I discovered is that just thinking positive about something does not change the situation. Change happens at the feeling stage. There must be an internal shift in order for there to be a shift in reality. The value in changing what we think about is that over time, we can actually change how we feel. Neuroscience provides us with the understanding that we are the only species on the planet that can create an emotion or feeling inside of us without actually experiencing it.  Here is an example: I want to feel the joy and bliss of when I am on my favourite beach in Mexico soaking up the sun – that feeling of balance and alignment within myself, a life of zero stress.  With focus and attention, each of us can create the emotions that align with this reality, even though we are not on the beach in Mexico.  Here is the exciting part! Once we create the associated feelings and emotions, our brain sends messages to our autonomic nervous system to create hormones, the positive hormones associated with these very positive emotions. The Emotional or Limbic brain kicks into action and we have a chemical reaction in our body that heightens these emotions and we feel even better. A cycle of feeling great begins. Our body can easily become accustomed to feeling great through our ability to manufacture the corresponding hormones.  Our bodies are a chemistry lab with the power to change how we feel!

We can now apply this information and process to our leadership approach, creating feelings of gratitude, abundance and opportunity. These thoughts create emotions and the resulting positive hormone exchange. Creating a repeatable process of feeling great, which will result in more clarity and coherence (which has been scientifically proven) will help in making great decisions that are aligned with values, purpose and internal/external client needs.  We know that how we feel and the emotions created are directly linked to the outcomes and results we get. It is time we celebrated the power of being human and shifted from our victim mentality, where life happens to us, to an empowered life where we create our own reality. This doesn’t have to be spiritual and doesn’t involve believing in all that woohoo stuff (although that can be fun too) but we have to accept that we are complex and powerful beings who are able to change our reality.

One of the reasons many are unwilling to accept this proven science is because once we have this awareness, we have to take responsibility for how we feel and the results we get. It is now 2016, time to stop being a victim and start taking our power back. Imagine the possibilities!  The New World Leadership Series is designed to teach valuable tools and processes to assist leaders in creating this profound positive energy that results in positive outcomes every time.  Join us!


Left Brain, Right Brain, Heart Centre

During the industrial revolution 120 years ago, we asked people to come to work and to not talk during business hours – to show up and simply do what they were told. We told people to leave all of their personal feelings and issues at home as there was no place for this in the workplace. Essentially bring your left brain to work and leave everything else at home, unless we need your back, then you were allowed to bring that as well.
Eighty years later, writers like Daniel Pink wrote about how the right brain was going to take over the world and how we needed to heed the importance of innovation and creativity in the workplace.  In fact, entire careers in consulting bloomed from this concept, teaching leaders how to access the right side of the brain and how to link it with the left side.
Today we teach leaders how to access their heart centre, how to tap into how they feel about a situation, person or issue. We practice accessing our intuition and monitoring intention and energy in everything we do. The expanded leader is one who accesses their intellect (LB), creativity (RB) and feelings (HC) at every opportunity.  It is intentional and deliberate and is viewed as a necessary attribute of great leadership.
What a novel idea – allowing the leader to access all of the gifts and attributes they have as a human being. Encouraging the whole person to come to work is at the centre of great workplaces today. Working with leaders to tap into the incredible hidden capability of the Heart Centre is a joy and a passion and it changes the game for everyone involved. It creates a true space for authentic service.